Public Urged Not To Panic Over Suspected Meningococcemia

The Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) is urging the people in Antique not to panic with the reported death of a three-year-old boy due to a suspected case of meningococcemia.

Dr. Leoncio Abiera Jr., IPHO Health Officer, in a press conference Wednesday appealed for calm regarding information circulating in the social media about the death of a three-year-old boy who was only on vacation in Barangay Buhang, Hamtic. “Please don’t panic that you could acquire the disease,” he said.

He added that meningococcemia is caused by Neisseria meningitis bacteria that can live harmlessly in the upper respiratory tract of a human being. It cannot survive in the outside environment for more than a minute to infect just anybody. “The mode of transmission of the disease is droplet,” he said.

Abiera said the child, who is from Dumangas, Iloilo province, was on vacation with his mother in Antique since December 29, 2019.

The boy experienced fever, convulsion, and vomiting that prompted his mother to have him admitted at the Angel Salazar Memorial General Hospital (ASMGH) at around 9 a.m. last January 13.

The boy, however, died around 2:30 in the afternoon of the same day.

“The case as for now is just meningococcemia suspect until the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine could confirm the result of the blood sample taken from the boy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Luz S. Resurreccion, Pediatrics Infectious Diseases Specialist at the ASMGH, said during the press conference that meningococcemia usually occurs among children below four years and to those immunocompromised persons because of their low resistance.

“For those children who had close contact with the suspected case, Rifampicin is being given as prophylaxis for two days while for the adults is one dose of Ciprofloxacin,” she said.

Abiera said as of Wednesday there are now 70 persons who had been given already prophylaxis by the medical team sent to Barangay Buhang to also conduct health education among the residents there. (PNA)

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